Property

When the British fashion design duo Antoni & Alison bought a derelict 1820s house, they spent a year, they say, "Going, 'Agh! What do we do with it?'" They wanted to respect its history but not to the point that it resembled an English Heritage property. The result is a surprisingly beautiful blend of giant Mr Blobby ornaments and painstakingly salvaged authenticity (above). On 17 September, as part of London Fashion Week, they open it to the public (open houselondon. org.uk). I asked Antoni what he'd learnt during the restoration...

BBC licence fee 'to be used for fast internet broadband'

Plans to install "super-fast" internet broadband in every British home will be partly funded by the BBC licence fee, according to a senior Liberal Democrat.

'Cultural shift' is needed to fund the arts, says Hunt

Wealthy donors are needed to help plug gaps in arts funding, Jeremy Hunt, the culture secretary, has said as he announced budget reductions as part of public spending cuts.

Ivy 'protects buildings' by regulating temperature

"False friendship, like the ivy," the explorer Sir Richard Burton once said, "decays and ruins the walls it embraces."

Inside Lines: A good guy becomes sport minister but Cameron misses trick

David Cameron now resides in his shared accommodation in Downing Street on an Obama-like ticket of "change". But we have to ask if sport has been somewhat short-changed? The new PM has missed a trick by again lumping sport together with media and culture under the roof of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. Here was a perfect opportunity to give sport, which he has acknowledged as being important to society, health and the economy, and currently with the added governance of the Olympics, its own full-time ministry. We welcome the appointment of Hugh Robertson as the new sports and Olympic minister – he's one of the good guys in politics and has a grasp of what the job is about after five years robustly shadowing two Labour sports ministers. But he has to report to the DCMS overlord, Jeremy Hunt, a nice enough chap whose only known affinity with athleticism is a spot of lambada dancing. Cameron should have been bold enough to change the system and give sport what it deserves – a ministry of its own. Chelsea fan Robertson, 47, was at yesterday's FA Cup final alongside his new boss, who elected to cheer for Portsmouth. A club cricketer and hockey player, Robertson was also planning to stay up for the Amir Khan fight and will watch today's T20 final between England and Australia. He will need such stamina with tough calls to make on funding and Olympic legacy.

Historic cathedrals at risk after English Heritage funding is cut during recession

Cathedrals are in danger of falling into serious disrepair because of the recession, senior figures within the Church have warned.

Olympics budget not protected

Money for the Olympics is not protected, the new Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport (COMS) Secretary has warned.

Peter Cheeseman: Pioneer of theatre-in-the-round whose reality-based approach to drama influenced his protégé Mike Leigh

"Make it stick," the Arts Council's drama director Jo Hodgkinson told Peter Cheeseman when he decided to back a fledgling theatre company in a seedy converted club in Stoke-on-Trent almost 50 years ago. Making it stick was Cheeseman's forte: he saw out years when his unheated theatre was so cold that even if an audience came you couldn't hear them clap because they were wearing gloves; and saw off an extraordinary attempt by his own patron, Stephen Joseph, to replace him.

Forget flying. This is truly the year of the staycation

The plan was to go to Krakow. But then Iceland's volcanic ash cloud put paid to that. Would the green hills around Hastings make for a poor second choice? Not at all

Compagnie XY, Roundhouse, London

A minimalist approach, but happy landings all the same

Inside Lines: Game on as sport braces itself for post-election shake-up

Whoever wins the election, sport can expect some fundamental changes in the way it is governed. The two main parties have plans to "shake up" the system, notably in football where the possible appointment of a regulator to oversee the game is likely to be included in both Labour and Conservative manifestoes. Any appointee – Tory peer Lord Mahwinney, until last week the Football League's chairman, is said to be favourite – could be given the US-style title of Football Commissioner. Government-backed organisations such as UK Sport, Sport England and the Youth Sports Trust can also expect some serious revision, as can their overlords, the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, particularly if the Tories gain power. A strong Labour influence in these bodies has been of some concern to the shadow sports minister, Hugh Robertson, who also pledges to restore Lottery funding for sport to its original level of 20 per cent. This has fallen from £460 million to £217m. The election will pose fresh questions about the role of the sports ministry. Labour undoubtedly would retain Tessa Jowell as Olympics minister but some feel that Gerry Sutcliffe will have to raise not so much his game but his profile to keep her company as sports minister. Any Lib-Lab pact in a coalition government might see Liberal spokesman Don Foster given the job. Should Labour win, Jowell is likely to be offered a strictly non-political role by Seb Coe as a 2012 ambassador. The increasingly impressive Robertson, who has twice turned down offers from David Cameron of promotion to a front-bench shadow ministry, hopes to combine the jobs of Olympics and sports minister. Politically overseeing the delivery of the 2012 Games should make this a Cabinet position.

Hold on tight: Britain's amusement parks are closing fast...

... but their historic white-knuckle rides are being rescued. And just in the nick of time

Blue plaque honour for wartime spy Forest Frederic Edward Yeo-Thomas

The life of a spy whose achievements are the stuff of fiction is to be celebrated today.

Robert Verkaik: These royal revelations are merely the tip of the iceberg

There are examples of huge overspends on refurbishments of the occupied palace

Arts cutbacks would dent chances of 'social recovery'

The heads of Britain's most prominent museums, galleries and theatres yesterday launched a "cultural manifesto" urging the Government to uphold public arts spending.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
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'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

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Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

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Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

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As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

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Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

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Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

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These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project